BY LAEL HINES | As of Tuesday morning, the cozy West Village Italian restaurant Pepe Verde, at 552 Hudson St., has been replaced by a closed roll-down gate and an “Out of Business” sign. The closure’s exact cause remains subject of speculation. Most locals think it was financial problems or a lease issue — challenges that many small businesses face in the Village.
There is a genuine disappointment by neighborhood residents over the unexpected loss of Pepe Verde (“green pepper,” in Italian).
A Village resident who gave his name as “Bruce Guitar,” exclaimed, “This place is going to be sorely missed by people in the Village. It’s been here for many years, and it was one of the only places where you could get an authentic Italian meal at an affordable price.”
Pepe Verde had a strong connection with the area.
Village resident Spencer, who didn’t give his last name, said, “It was definitely a neighborhood place. During Hurricane Sandy when everything was blacked-out, they actually put out food for everyone in the Village to eat.”
Another former Pepe Verde-goer, Olivia, shocked to see the restaurant closed, sadly said this small Italian gem was one of the “staples of the neighborhood.”
Despite the disappointment of yet one more small business having closed, another restaurant by the same owner, Pepe Rosso, luckily remains close by on Sullivan St., just south of Houston St. Gianfranco, a manager at Pepe Rosso, said, “We are very sorry that Pepe Verde is closing. People from the Village have been calling our branch requesting deliveries, and of course we will deliver to them.”